Amaryllis, a Paper Doll in Evening Gowns

I don’t really do balance that well. I tend to work in the grip of obsession and then realize I’ve just spent five hours looking through images of medieval manuscripts in the hope that one of them might show a 10th century women’s neckline which, of course, none of them did. (By the way, you can read all about my adventures in the 10th century here and see the paper doll result.)

So, when I want to draw and I don’t want to get wrapped up in fretting about whether or not my choice of red is the right shade for Turkey red of the 1800s, I often turn to contemporary fashion magazines, as I know I have mentioned before. I find these paper dolls are fun, because in many ways they are easier than fantasy or historical dolls. I can just draw what I see, which is simpler for me than trying to draw from my minds-eye or from actual historical garments.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Amaryllis’ evening gowns are based on actual evening gowns of the “real world”. I wanted to use a spring color scheme that wouldn’t be to heavy and dark. I feel like Clarissa, my last Pixie, had an awfully dark color scheme for a summer paper doll post. I wanted to make Amaryllis’ shoes neutral enough that she could wear them with other outfits in case she wanted to borrow some evening gowns from another paper doll or felt like rocking some jeans. :)

One last thing, the latest drawing is still open. Consider entering if you like. :)

Some Sets in Black and White…

So… I often get asked for more black and white versions to color of Marisole Monday paper dolls. Oddly, I have almost never been asked for black and white versions of other paper dolls, but that’s neither here nor there.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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This was specifically requested a while ago, so I wanted to make sure to do Ancient Chic and one of the sets.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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I forgot that I hadn’t done this in black and white. I would have sworn I had… but as it turned out, I was wrong. It’s odd to me to think this paper doll set in color was posted nearly two years ago. Wow… That was a while ago. I’m still not pleased with how the floral skirt turned out, but sometimes you just can’t win.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Walk in the Woods in color was a set which I wanted to do some more casual wear and as I recall someone had asked for East Indian coloring, so that was my attempt at that. In hind sight, I rather like the accessories with this set like the apple, map and backpack.

So, here they are. A few sets in black and white to be colored. Enjoy them everyone.

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Last week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

The 27th Shadow and Light Printable Paper Doll

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Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of these paper dolls and I have missed them.

I developed drawing in this style in college, because I admired the work of many wonderful comic book artists. As I got more concerned with the playability of the paper dolls rather than what I thought was artistic merit, I largely abandoned it for paper doll work and went back to my more cartoony style.

Still… I love the idea of black and white paper dolls that aren’t meant to be colored and can stand alone as pieces of work without needing color.

Today’s Shadow & Light printable paper doll has a 1930’s noir sensibility that I think the heavily shadowed medium really illustrates well and I adore her side glancing eyes.

One of the other reasons I love doing Shadow and Light paper dolls is that they come together very quickly. Well… not the inking and drawing parts (those take more time with all the shadow), but the actualy formatting is quick since they don’t need to be colored and usually I draw the taps right on the paper doll clothing rather than adding them later.

By the way, I have a new poll. I have done this poll once, several years ago. That time, the Marisol Monday won out, by a landslide. I’m curious of that would happen again. I suppose we’ll see.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Flowers and Jewels in Full Color!

So, we had the black and white version of this paper doll set last week. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t do a good enough job linking the full color versions of the paper dolls with the black and white versions of the same paper doll, but then… I also sort of figure that people are smart enough to figure it out. I don’t like treating my readers as though they’re stupid.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Anyway… I had a lot of fun with today’s paper doll.

Her underwear is the same color as the site’s base color which is Hex Code 990033. Her skin is the warmer of my two medium brown colors that I like to use Hex Code d29569 from the Skintone Pallette. It’s got more orange in it than some of the colors I use more often, so I tend to be careful what colors I pair it with. The dresses are a range of colors whose Hex Codes, I can’t remember at present. I wanted to use Jeweltones, but not get too dark. Autumnal without getting into the orange, yellow, red, brown combination.

Anyway, I think I’ve run out of things to say about the paper doll. Enjoy her.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Flowers and Jewels

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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I always have high hopes for October. I mean… it’s Halloween. Could there be a better holiday to celebrate with paper dolls? Any yet despite my idea that I’m really going to be festive, I hardly ever am.

I think I’ve done one Marisole Halloween set (which I didn’t feel like digging around the archives for). I remember fondly Liana’s wonderful Octobers with fantastic costumes and I always think I’m going to do something like that.

Clearly, once again, that didn’t happen.

But hey… here’s some pretty prom dresses/evening wear and it’ll be in color next week. I could say I planned on using halloween colors… but I don’t. I plan on using a lot of teal and maybe some purple.

Marisole Mondy & Friends: A Set of Black and White Printable Paper Dolls

First of all… More Black and White Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper dolls (but you’ll need to scroll down…)

Secondly, Check out the new layout. It is still in progress and I’m still messing with it a fair bit, but I have high hopes for eventual success with it.

What happened was that I updated my version of WordPress and updated my old theme. Well.. that messed up the formatting and I decided that the right thing to do was finally bite the bullet and redo the entire thing. So, the blog looked schizophrenic for a few days while I tried out new and different themes. Right now, the theme is Mantra and I can only say good things about it. I judge a theme on how much of the CSS I have to rewrite myself and with Mantra the answer has been… shockingly little. Just a few small tweaks to the code. All in all, a very nice and clean theme.

Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about the new layout, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

As for today’s printable paper dolls… I’m posting some more previously colored Marisole’s in black and white. I think they look charming. They’re all very modern though some of them are two years old.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Well, I did a series of seasonal paper dolls- or at least I thought seriously about it- and this one was for Autumn. You can see the Autumn Chic in color and I forgot to give her a background pattern, though I’ve fixed that in my black and white version. Paper dolls without backgrounds just look so sad and empty to me.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Being someone who loves alliteration, I called this paper doll set Candy Coated Couture, which made more sense when she was full color. I think she’s a great example of the importance of mixing neutrals into a colorful scheme to increase mix and match clothing options. Plus did I mention that I love most of her clothing? Now that she’s available in black and white and I think she’s just as cute.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, now Mia is getting into the act. Here she is off to prom or maybe some sort of red carpet event. I never wear an evening gown in the real world, but paper dolls aren’t meant for the real world, are they? Enchanting Evening in full color is another paper doll where I forgot to put in a background image. It bothers me, though not enough to fix it. I should really fix the apstorphe in Streets of China first… that’s the one that really gets to me.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new theme and check back later this week. There will be another update. I’m not sure when yet… but it is going to happen.

Dictionary Girl’s get Ruffled

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Confession time: This might be the last Dictionary girl paper doll post for a while.

I have been feeling really ambiguous about my Dictionary Girl paper dolls lately and I haven’t even been able to get myself excited about drawing for them. Originally, I wanted to do this fun vintage thing which I did, but lately I’ve been feeling less then inspired. Their feet freak me out and I’m not in love with their faces. The truth is that I have moved towards a more cartoon style of drawing lately and these dolls feel… forced and awkward.

I’m really divided about this, because I think it’s important to have paper dolls of all body types and I think it’s important to show that healthy figured women are… well… healthy, but on the other hand… I’m having trouble getting excited about them…

You know, I feel like I’m writing an awkward break up letter… “It’s not you. It’s me.”

Anyway, I’m taking a break from these girls to see if inspiration strikes and if it doesn’t, I might be slipping them into the retired section with Curves paper dolls the first version, Flora the Regency paper doll and Florence the 1870’s paper doll.

But I do want to know how people feel about this and I was going to do a poll, but instead I thought I would just ask.

How important is it for the site to have a full figured printable paper doll? And if I decide on a different one than the Dictionary Girls, how would people feel?

The Best Friends…

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{Click Here to Download for a PDF of all pages of this paper doll to Print}

So, this is going to be a Big Image, Small Post sorta day.

Here are the eight pages which make up the Best Friends paper doll set. (Yeah, I need better names for these things… I’m not good with names…)

My goal with this set of paper dolls was to experiment with slightly different body builds and poses while maintaining a similar enough over all style that the paper dolls would seem cohesive. I’ve never tried to draw this way before. I think I succeeded, but only because I drew them all at once. I can’t imagine trying to do this any other way.

Eventually, this set might get a sequel, but probably not for a little while.

I was going to wait until Monday to have my first paper doll post since I went on haitus, but I felt like people waited for two months and the least I could do was give some rapid paper doll gratification.

I hope everyone in the United States is having a fantastic Labor Day weekend. I have spent mine getting caught up with some work things, eating delightful barbecue and tomorrow I might do something radical and go see a movie. Mostly, I’m enjoying getting the time off work to get a little more settled here in Alabama.

Marisole Monday: At the Big Gala

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all those in the United State who, like me, get the day off. I’m spending mine doing laundry and getting ready for classes, but hopefully other people are having more fun. Marisole is all dressed up for a big gala this week. I confess that my schedule for this coming semester is looking crazy and I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to devote to the blog, but we’ll see how it goes.

So, my father is trying to get me to create some magnetic paper dolls to sell. I’m not so sure about the idea myself, but he’s convinced that in the tourist heavy summers of Juneau Alaska that they would be a hit. He’s promised to do the research, if I draw the paper doll. My question to all those grandparents who read this blog or parents or anyone else who buys gifts for children (or themselves, lets be honest here) how much would you pay for a magnetic paper doll, neatly packaged with an Alaskan theme (assuming you’re in Alaska to begin with, mind you). Five bucks? Ten? I’ve seen them on Etsy for as much as 30 dollars, but I can’t imagine anyone paying that amount (I certainly wouldn’t). How much would you spend?

Edit 4/6/2014: This set is now available here in black and white for coloring. Yay!

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